September 26, 2016

Local representatives should outline plans to develop districts

Dear Editor,

With the historic Local Government Elections (LGE) looming there was a historic debate on Saturday night last. It was hosted by Nigel Hughes. The format did not lend to the much needed cross-talk and expansions on the plans and views of the candidates. Candidates should have been allowed to question each other as there seems to be some amount of copying of ideas. There also seemed to be a lack of big-city plans and initiatives. This is the 21st Century and Guyana needs a council that understands that Georgetown needs to move with the times.

Here are some of my ideas, most of which will add money to the Council’s coffers:

  1. Reduce the amount of cars coming into the city by charging a toll. Simultaneously, have shuttles taking commuters to central locations around town.

  2. Relocate our bus parks onto the outskirts of town and shuttle folks in and out.

  3. Immediately regularise our building codes for our sidewalks, so the differently-abled could move freely around town. Have the property owners be responsible for fixing this.

  4. With regards to abandonde buildings and empty lots: the city council will clean those lots or demolish those buildings and send the bill to the property owners. If the bills are not paid in a reasonable time, the property should be gazette and auctioned off.

  5. All immobile vehicles on the roadways or on government parapets should be removed at the owners’ expense.

  6. Folks with working vehicles (buses, taxis, etc), on government lands, should pay a fee.

  7. Establish a tow-truck department for violators of city parking codes. Vis-à-vis pedestrian crossings, bus stops, thoroughfares, water hydrants (after they are fixed).

  8. Spearhead a drive, in collaboration with the Ministries of Social Protection and Health, to rid the city streets of the homeless.

  9. Regularize the scrap metal buyers (with the threat of closure of their business and incarceration), so that some form of accountability is in place to prevent the theft and sale of copper and other metals.

  10. Distribute garbage bins to every home and make a minimal addition to the property taxes.

All of these suggestions can be implemented almost immediately and will bring much need funds into the M&CC.

I was not invited to participate in the recent debate. In fact I got a few calls from some who thought I should have been thrown into the mix. However, while no explanation was given for my non-invite, I perceived from those represented, that it was the groups and political parties that were slated to present.

It was a refreshing undertaking and one would well agree that this should have been done before and probably needs to be done again. However, I would like to see the debate broadened to include the independent candidates and individual representatives of the varied groups. For while the leaders of the groups might well be able to articulate their desires for the Mayoral position, their underlings should be made to explain to the public, how they plan to assist the constituents they are vying to represent.

I listened and read how difficult it was for some of the group leaders and Mayoral hopefuls to explain their intentions for the City of Georgetown, which made me wonder if they are really up to the challenge. I also contemplated the fact that if these leading candidates had such difficulties at explaining what should by now be second nature to them, how well their subordinates will be able to cast their visions.

Editor, I would like to suggest that the coordinators of the last debate or indeed any other with the wherewithal, arrange a similar event and have the local representatives speak to how they plan to develop their local districts.


Pastor Wendell Jeffrey,





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